Public defender's office seeks mistrial after lawyer's 2 a.m. jail visit
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Around 2 a.m. Thursday morning, Louisville defense attorney Brendan McLeod visited Metro Corrections inmate Brian Greenwell about his ongoing murder trial.

The problem, according to a hearing today in Greenwell’s trial, is that McLeod does not represent Greenwell. He represents Greenwell’s co-defendant in the murder, Jodie Cecil.

Greenwell is actually represented by the Louisville Public Defender’s office, which this morning asked Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman for a mistrial in the case, arguing that McLeod committed misconduct and violated Greenwell’s rights.

“It’s absolutely clear and not even arguable that Mr. McLeod was not supposed to be in contact with Mr. Greenwell, yet he was for the better part of an hour at least,” Jay Lambert, with the public defender’s office, told McDonald-Burkman. “And he acknowledged … he discussed the possibility and advisability of (Greenwell) testifying” as well as other issues in the case.

Lambert had a witness from Metro Corrections corroborate that McLeod talked with Greenwell for 50 minutes at the jail at about 2 a.m. Thursday. He then visited with his own client for about a half hour before returning and again talking with Greenwell.

Judge McDonald-Burkman ruled it is an ethical issue that’s "not going away," and possibly a violation of the rules of professional conduct for attorneys. However, the judge ruled she was “not concerned” that McLeod’s actions would affect the trial and allowed it to continue.

A jury was deliberating the case Friday night. 

Lambert also tried to prevent McLeod from questioning Greenwell on the stand, arguing it was unclear what McLeod told Greenwell and how it might affect his testimony.

“It’s clear that Mr. McLeod had extensive contact with Mr. Greenwell about the case while he represented another party who was potentially adverse to him,” Lambert argued. “This is so dangerous and so profound.”

For his part, McLeod said Lambert was “amazing at making a molehill into an ant hill,” and said he was only trying to help Greenwell. “I talked to him and his family and he wrote me records from the jail to visit him. You’d have to be blind to think I’m antagonistic at all.

“My client desires to help him," McLeod continued. "This is like shooting someone who is your sidekick.”

McDonald-Burkman was considering the issue when Greenwell told his attorney he wanted McLeod to cross-examine him.

“You cross-examine him all day long, now we’re going to bring the jury in,” a frustrated McDonald-Burkman told McLeod.

Greenwell and Cecil are charged with murder, criminal attempted murder and first degree assault. Greenwell also faces charges of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, tampering with physical evidence and being a persistent felony offender.

According to police, 42-year-old Jennifer Cain was shot multiple times on Friday, May 13, 2016, inside her home on Shelby Street in the Shelby Park neighborhood.

Investigators say Cain’s boyfriend was also shot. He was taken to University Hospital with injuries deemed life-threatening.

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